KUALA LUMPUR, July 2019 – Local batik design house, FERN, has officially launched their first flagship store in Bangsar. The new flagship store elevates and marks a milestone as it brings a wider range of premium batik and other artisanal collective from local and global artisans. The launch was officiated by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Yang Berhormat Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik and was celebrated with other notable Batik champions.
FERN, the batik label was formed after winning Fashion Pitch 2013, an initiative organized by MyCreative Ventures, a government investment arm that aims to spur Malaysia’s creative industry. Founder and designer Fern Chua is confident that batik can be appreciated by many, even with the ever changing taste of the fashion industry.
Although there has been a rising awareness of batik, more integrated efforts are needed to preserve its intricate artistry and its beauty. FERN’s efforts to reintroduce the artistry of local batik has been met with popular acclaim and is seen as a much needed initiative to reinvigorate the batik industry with fresh talent and innovative ideas. FERN makes its batik-wear modern, wearable and most importantly comfortable for day to day wear. The batik label’s signature style stays true to their ethos of creating luxurious and quality apparels that are versatile and effortless, yet elegant and subtle.
“We preserve the tradition of batik by using a similar technique but combine different colours and patterns that are more current and on trend. My designs and collections incorporates your non-typical patterns and colour combinations,” shares Fern. “It is important for us to share the beautiful and ancient artform in a more contemporary way so we can preserve this heritage for the current generation, and for the future generations to come,” Fern continues.
“The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) is committed to ensuring the sustainability and long term development of batik as part of our cultural heritage and as a growing industry. The ministry, through our agency Kraftangan, has worked hard to ensure that batik continues to evolve to meet higher industry standards. In 2018, the total sales volume of Malaysian craft products stood at RM506.5 million, which was dominated by sales of textile products (43.7%) and batik in particular (77% or RM170.7 million). To date, there is a total of 5,572 active craft entrepreneurs registered with Kraftangan including 1,712 textile entrepreneurs, of which 671 are batik entrepreneurs,” comments YB Bakhtiar.
The afternoon concluded with a fashion runway showcasing new silhouettes of the latest Coral Series, and a special preview of FERN’s upcoming collection. Inspired by nature and the brand’s name, the Fern Series is a collection that founder and designer Fern Chua always planned to have since starting her batik label. The collection, like the others, stay true to the brand, in which every pattern is intricately developed from its initial idea of inspiration, making it unique to the batik label. This collection is also one that Fern holds especially close to heart as it is designed in honour of her father who named her and taught her to appreciate the beauty and details found in nature.
FERN Batik + Artisanal Collective flagship store features soft pastel colours, lush greeneries as well as local inspired materials such as rattan and bamboo. The aesthetically pleasing design and colour of the store coupled with natural greeneries and different textures reflect the brand as they are elements that play a big role in inspiring Fern in all of her collections. Beautifully displayed, FERN’s colourful apparels stand out even from afar.
More than just a batik label, FERN Batik + Artisanal Collective hopes to become a brand that champions the batik art form as well as support like-minded artisanal crafts.